Kettlebell Swing Guide and How to Start Running

Kettlebell Swing Guide and How to Start Running

Each week we field questions from our community and provide answers. If you have a question you would like to see answered, please post it in our Facebook group here, DM us on Instagram, or at us on Twitter!

Today's Topics Cover:

  1. How to do kettlebell swings and the benefits to them
  2. Best tips for how to incorporate swings into a workout and how do you build?
  3. What are some tips for someone looking to start running?

What are some of the benefits of kettlebell swings?

Swings are a total body exercise that is fantastic for developing strong glutes while also improving cardiovascular health.

Can you explain how to do a kettlebell swing with good form?

Start standing comfortably with the kettlebell on the floor arms length in front of you.  Sit back into your hips to feel your hamstrings lengthen and grab the kettlebell with both hands.  Snap the kettlebell between your legs without standing up at all.  When the kettlebell reaches max height behind you, snap your hips forward and by extension your arms/kettlebell as well.  Stand to full extension letting the kettlebell's momentum carry to shoulder height.  The bell should feel weightless at the top of the swing and shoulder height.  Then snap the kettlebell back between your legs to repeat.

You can also watch the video below!

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How many swings should you do as a beginner? What weight should you use?  How many reps and sets? What if you're advanced?

Start by doing sets of 10 with as much rest as needed between sets and working your way up to 10 sets of 10.  Most beginners can comfortably start between 25-50 pounds depending on their bodyweight with the defaults being a 25 or 35 lb bell.

A solid program for advanced users is a rep pyramid 10, 15, and 25 rep sets (50 per round) repeated to a total volume of 500 repetitions!

How many times a week should you do kettlebell swings and when do you know its time to add more?

A few programs exist that build towards 1000's of repetitions a month which means 4+ sessions per week.  For most people, 2-3 days will build strength while allowing time for recovery.

Like all exercise, when the routine becomes easy and you could perform 10-20% more repetitions with perfect form.  That means it is time to add repetitions or more likely add weight.

What are some helpful tips for someone who wants to start running?

  1. Get a form check! Make sure you are distributing your weight properly as asymmetrical running leads to most running issues. (Shin splints, patella tendonitis, runner's hip, etc.)
  2. Do a dynamic movement based warmup emphasizing blood flow. Keep it simple with 10 each of squats, windmills, hip circles, lunges, and down dog squats.
  3. Start running on hills! The incline forces you to pick up your feet and run with better form. While it may be hard, starting flat can be worse as it can reinforce bad mechanics.
  4. Keep it simple to start as well! Run as long as it feels good then when your body goes downhill you stop. Build slowly over time for the best results.
  5. Foam roll your quads and calves after every run. They tend to contribute to the most aches, pains, and injuries so stay in front of the curve.

Helpful Resources:

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